Newark, LaGuardia Airports Have Critical Video Surveillance Gaps, Report Finds

In one instance at Newark Liberty International Airport, a person in the terminal making a phone call threatening one of the airplanes was not caught on security cameras.

A report by NBC New York found a lack of adequate video surveillance inside parts of Newark Liberty International Airport and LaGuardia Airport.

Inside the baggage area, near doors and pick up/drop off areas were highlighted in the report as needing more security cameras. The arrivals terminals at both airports also have many blind spots in its video surveillance. John F. Kennedy International Airport has the same blind spots, the report states.

“We have no cameras in the frontage roadways at our airports — no cameras in the common areas, food courts and no video surveillance once you pass screening and go down into the gate areas,” says Frank Conti, first vice president of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association.

The absence in security cameras also came back to haunt Newark airport in June. According to the report, a man called authorities from a payphone in the terminal threatening to attack a British Airways plane.

The threat was later determined not to be credible. However, authorities could not get a picture of the suspect making the call due to the lack of surveillance in the terminal. As a result, no one was arrested in connection to the incident.

“We have thousands of closed-circuit security cameras strategically placed in operation across all our facilities, including our airports, and we are continuing to expand our coverage and use of security cameras in existing areas and in new projects,” says Thomas Belfiore, chief security officer with the Port Authority. “We continue to work with the [Transportation Security Administration] to ensure maximum camera coverage in critical areas of our airport facilities.”

Read the entire report here.

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